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Before You Can Step On The Mat
By: Brent Hummel (1996)

You have to be ready
You have no advantage
Your opponent has no advantage
You have to be ready physically
You have to be warmed up and ready for the challenge
You have to be ready mentally
You have to have faith in yourself that you can win
You can not start with cold feet
You should have no doubts about the outcome
You have to know your strategy
You have to believe that the person in your corner has total faith
You have to believe your fellow team members will support you
If you lose, and gave it your all, you have no reason to be ashamed
It is a learning experience that you can grow with
It shows that you are unbeatable
It shows you have to be better prepared and work even harder
Then, when you win, you will get a true rush of satisfaction
You will know in your heart that you were ready for the challenge -
A mat and a man that stands in front of a victory and your pride
By: Brent Hummel (1996)

Why would you?
What is the purpose?
Is it fun? Enjoyable?
Well, both Yes and No.
It takes hard work,
dedication and a will to win.
You have to work.
It is all up to you.
You have to have dedication.
You have to have the will to win.
You have to always try and never give in.
You have to have balance, strategy, and technique.
You have to learn how to take pain, because you have no time to cry.
You have to be willing to help and be helped.
You have to work as a team and as an individual, to prepare yourself
to take the next challenge.
It is up to you to win.
Is it worth it?
It can prove to yourself and others that you can succeed.
It brings out your true worth and ambition.
It takes giving yourself - Your heart, Your Pride, and above all Your Life!
If you give it your all,
you can consider yourself worthy of life.
Wrestling is the toughest sport;
yet you may find it both enjoyable and fun.
By: Matt Anderson (2005)

There is a man all beat up in pain.
Many people think he had no fears.
He worked and practiced and lost his weight
For the end of the season was in his fate.
He won many, lost a few, but there was never a tie.
He sometimes got injured, that is no lie.

He knew that the wins would bring him some pain
But the more he worked he kept himself sane.
Around came the state finals, his nerves came to a head.
“You know what your job is,” his coach said,
“It is only four matches; don’t let it end.
For it’s all on you that the team must depend.”

Matches one, two, and three ended in pins.
After these matches, he still needed one win.
It’s just one win someone would say,
But that one win would make it a glorious day.
He walked out onto the mat without any shame
For he sported the singlet of Quincy Notre Dame.

The ultimate goal was in his hands.
He broke a cold sweat as he looked at his fans.
In six minutes he might say he’s the best.
He put his foot on the green line and accepted the test.
The whistle blew and the match began.
He wrestled his heart out as true men can.

His hand still gripped his hair 
As his opponent’s hand was raised in the air.
He clenched his headgear on the side
He sat in the locker room in tears as he cried.
He knew that his training would start tomorrow.
His coach said, “Don’t sit here too long in sorrow.”

He worked harder than ever before.
His muscles were aching and so very sore
But he knew he couldn’t stop 
If he wanted to go to the top.
He struggled and he strained
To keep off the ounces he had gained.

The moment of truth was here again.
He knew that the match was approaching.
He put his foot on green again
And thanked the coach for his coaching.
He remembered what his coach had said,
“Win or lose, you still made it this far.”
He kept that thought from going to his head
For he wanted to be the star.

Before he knew it, it was over.
He looked up at his mom and dad,
He knew that it was done.
They knew he gave it all he had.

Coaches call him a wrestler.
His family says he’s just a man.
He knew he was a winner
When the official  raised his hand.
To Submit a Short Story or Poem - send a copy to Coach Steinkamp via E-Mail or by Mail to the address below.

Coach Steinkamp
10th & Jackson
Quincy, Illinois 62301
Most of the stories below were submitted by former members of the QND Wrestling Team. 

Anyone can submit a short story or poem.  For more information on how to Submit your story/poem click here.
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"Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a Desire, a Dream, and a Vision. They have to have last minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the Skill and the Will.  But the Will must be stronger than the Skill." 
------Muhammad Ali
Quincy Notre Dame High School - Home of the Raiders   217-223-2479
Click Here to E-Mail Coach Steinkamp
A True Sport - By Brent Hummel
The Wrestler - By Matt Anderson
Inspirational & Awesome Story
By: David Langerfeld

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree.  No name, no identification, no inscription.  It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
        It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it - overspending... the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma ---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.
        Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
        Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
        Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them."
        Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
        The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
        As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.  You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.
        Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.   Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.  
Before you Step on the Mat - By Brent Hummel
The Envelope
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This page was last updated: July 30, 2021
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